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You Belong

  • Location: Mukilteo, WA,
My father died in a car accident when I was ten. I was the only child in my school that didn’t have both parents and suddenly I felt insecure and that I didn’t belong. I was convinced that I never would belong again and the happy life I cherished was over. Then one day my schoolmates invited me to the movies. When I got there and sat down in my seat, the thing I feared the most happened. A boy from another class, who sat a couple of rows over, started yelling at me in front of everyone that I don’t have a father and I should not sit anywhere near him. I was frozen, and at the bottom of the well of fear in my heart, I knew he was right. What happened next changed everything: The boys from my class stood up and dragged that boy out of the theater. Perhaps that was not the best action, but it started my healing as I suddenly realized that I did belong, that I had friends who cared for me, and the bottomless hole in my heart started filling up. To this day, I strive to show people around me they belong, whatever their perceived “otherness” might be.